Quality improvement module 5: History of quality of healthcare in the UK

by Dr Charles Shaw and Adrian Worrall

 

Published: August 2020, with updates by Dr Amar Shah

 

The evolution of quality in UK health services has been one of consistent technical advances and complex cycles of values and behaviour. Frequent shifts in priorities and terminology, especially in the National Health Service (NHS), have led to relabelling, restructuring and loss of learning. The key dimensions of quality in healthcare remain unchanged, although we have seen an evolution of focus from planning to assurance to a deeper embedding of quality improvement within today's healthcare system.

 

Understanding how and why cycles recurred in the past helps to explain the present and, to some degree, the future. We can learn, for example, from recurring cycles in NHS policy, professional attitudes and public expectations. Observers around the world study closely how the UK, and specifically the NHS, have trodden this circuitous path. Similar reflection may also enable policymakers and practitioners in the UK to recognise where we are now and where we might go next in the quest for quality.

 

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College Centre for Quality Improvement

 

Other modules in this series:

 

QI essentials by Dr Genevieve Holt and Dr Amar Shah

 

Clinical audit in mental health practice by Robin Burgess

 

Organisation theory: conceptual frameworks in a changing context by Professor David Crowther and Dr Miriam Green

 

Patient safety in mental health by Rachel Grace Paskell

 

 

 

BJPsych Advances: related articles for CPD Online

 

 

Related Advances articles

 

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This is the fifth in a series of modules developed in association with the College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI).

 

 

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